Clonal heterogeneity in mycosis fungoides and its relationship to clinical course

Francisco Vega, Rajyalakshmi Luthra, L. Jeffrey Medeiros, Valerie Dunmire, Sang Joon Lee, Madeleine Duvic, Dan Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Mycosis fungoides (MF) is a cutaneous T-cell lymphoma characterized by multifocal disease and protracted clinical course. The few studies that have assessed T-cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements (GRs) present at different anatomic sites in MF have generally reported a common clone. We used a previously validated 4-color polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to assess the size and V-family usage of TCR-γ GRs in 102 concurrent and/or sequential morphologically involved biopsy specimens (91 skin and 11 lymph nodes) from 39 MF patients. This assay detected TCR-γ clonal GRs in 89 samples (87%) from 36 patients (92%). In 24 patients (77%), an identical clonal GR was present in at least 2 skin samples. However, in one third of these patients, additional different clonal GRs were also noted. Four patients (13%) had clonal GRs that were distinct in different skin samples. In 3 patients (10%), no GR was detected in any sample. In a comparison of lymph node and skin samples, 8 patients had the identical clonal GRs at both sites, 2 patients had different clonal GRs, and 1 patient had no GR identified at either site. Independent of clinical stage, patients who had the same GR detected in multiple concurrent biopsy specimens at the time of diagnosis were more likely to have progressive disease than those who had different GRs (P = .04). Four color TCR-γ PCR analysis can uncover multiple distinct clonal GRs in different samples consistent with multiclonal or oligoclonal disease in a significant proportion of MF patients. Demonstration of identical clonal GRs in multiple biopsy specimens at the time of diagnosis may provide prognostic information related to disease progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3369-3373
Number of pages5
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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